- personal portfolio site of digital designer Rich Dean.

Creative. Design. Technology.

I create beautiful design and engaging experiences to help brands flourish. I’m passionate about doing great work with great people: I’ve worked with big brands and one-man bands, designing websites, brand identity and print work to help them grow.

I run design agency Supersonic Playground.

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Helping philanthropy to reach the right people

NPC are an organisation who advise charities and corporations on how to invest philanthropically. Their business involves analysing huge amounts of data and using it as a basis to advise their clients. So how do you design a website that will deliver this advice in a seamless way?

The core ‘pillars’

NPC sitemap NPC sitemap core pillars

NPC’s business is focused around analysing markets and trends, and then using the data they obtain to advise large organisations and charities on the best way to invest philanthropically.

I started the project by conducting user research with some of NPC’s core clients to get a sense of how NPC was perceived and how their existing site was being used. Although it had become unwieldy in it’s structure, the user research I conducted revealed that the site was popular and that NPC had built up a lot of trust. They had three core offerings of publications, events and blog, and they were really popular.

I then worked directly with the client to conduct a full content audit of their site, which revealed that their work covers multiple sectors such as government, communities and health, and this gave me the idea of organising the site into a content matrix focused around their three core offerings or ‘pillars’, whereby their sectors would span across each of these offerings.

NPC homepage wireframe

The concept of the three pillars was carried through consistently in the structural design of the site. So on the homepage, the content is organised into three clear columns, one for each pillar.

NPC publications page wireframe

On the main publications landing page, the pillars are evident in the filtering system, which allows the user to filter by sector, as well as by date and author. This filtering system is consistent across all three pillars.

NPC individual publication page wireframe

The wireframe stage was also when a lot of the more detailed layout work was done, including establishing the grid system. I find this to be much more efficient than doing it in the visual design stage.

The rebrand and visual design

NPC homepage

NPC’s rebrand was produced by makeUP and it was a pleasure to work with them collaboratively. It was a really nice brand to work with and easy to implement digitally. The core logo mark was based around an eight-pointed star, and so I wanted to use this angular aspect to inform the visual language in an abstract way.

NPC events page

The brand had a very vibrant, colourful feel. I was keen to use their palette effectively, but also aware that the audience is a B2B market, and that the site is quite content-heavy, so any use of colour needed to be sympathetic of this. As such, the visual aesthetic is clean and minimal, with dashes of colour to add energy.

NPC individual event page

The clean, minimal design also works to give NPC a premium feel.

The grid

NPC 1000px grid system

The site was built on top of a versatile 1000px grid system, which is designed to make responsive websites much easier. It’s based on fluid percentages rather than fixed pixel measurements, and although the site isn’t responsive, it could easily be made so.

The Design Kit

NPC design kit NPC design kit elements

NPC’s site was also created using a Design Kit, which is intended to make the handover from design to development much more seamless. It also makes the project generally more efficient and cost-effective for the client, as it avoids the need to design every single page.

About me

I believe that design should be available to everyone. It doesn’t matter what your company’s size, budget or business is: great design will help you tell your story better. Design isn’t just about visual style: it can change how your business works, and how your customers see you.

I run design agency Supersonic Playground, based in Lordswood, near Maidstone in Kent. I have 16 years’ experience in design, most recently as head of design for Zone, voted 2014’s number 1 independent agency in the UK by The Drum magazine. I relish working collaboratively, and put my utmost into every project.

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